A lawsuit filed Friday, Aug. 17, in Pierce County Superior Court seeks to require the to clean up decades of contamination it has caused to a local stream. North Creek, a small stream that feeds into and eventually to Gig Harbor and Puget Sound, has been heavily polluted by the accumulation of heavy metals from spent shot fired from the Sportsman’s Club.
Investigations by the Washington State Department of Ecology and the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department found that samples immediately downstream of the Sportsman’s Club had lead concentrations 900 times higher than the State’s water quality criteria. Ecology concluded that North Creek had the highest levels of lead pollution of any water body in the State.
The suit was filed by Burnham Construction, a subsidiary of Donkey Creek Holdings and the owner of property immediately adjacent to and downstream of the Sportsman’s Club property. Representatives of Donkey Creek Holdings attempted to work with the Club for well over a year, hoping that the Club would accept its legal responsibility to clean up and restore the creek.
“We didn’t want (to) bring this suit,” said Wade Perrow one of the owners of Donkey Creek Holdings. “We appreciate the Club’s rich history and the decades of service it has provided to the community. We aren’t trying to force the Club to close or move. We just want it to accept its legal responsibility to clean up the contamination its activities have caused and to stop polluting the creek,” said Perrow.
Perrow has long been an advocate of efforts to restore Donkey Creek and its tributaries. Perrow recently developed and promoted the “Perrow Plan” that led to making the daylighting of Donkey Creek at North Harborview a reality.